Hey George!


Hey, George.

Hey, George. Sorry to bother you in your bath, I mean…errrr
But it’s ten years now, officially, and tens
of thousands of lives….deaths, and
ruin and bankruptcy and–

What? Can I fix that mirror?
How’s that?
And the soap?
Don’t worry, I’ll shut my eyes (stretching one hand
into the stall)–

Which is what
you did too, hey Buddy?

Okay, sorry.
Sure, you’re a good guy.
You love kids, dogs; Barney as gosh damn cute
as they come, and Laura’s
been a real trooper.

Speaking of which, 4,486.
And the wounded, well, tons more, but those Army docs
have got so gosh darn great they can put just about anyone back together.
Sort of.

And you’re right–Dick was a real dick,
and Donald–forget about it–
and then there was your Daddy and goddamn
Saddam, and what were you supposed to do, and I
can bet you sure did pray–

What? The soap again. No?
the paintbrush?

Okay, fine, I’ll get it.. But this time,
I will not shut my eyes.

Sorry to raise old wounds with this draft poem (of sorts) but it’s the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq this month, and this conversation was all I could come of up with for the dVerse Poets Pub prompt by the wonderful Claudia Schoenfeld re imaginary conversations with the famous or celebrated. I think Claudia was pushing for imaginary conversations with the dead, but there are more than enough dead to go with this conversation.

The references to studio and painting refer to pictures of paintings by George W. Bush that recently came out on the Internet– two are self-portraits painted of him in the bath, one with his face reflected in a small convex mirror. (And absolutely no offense meant here towards Laura Bush whom I genuinely admire, especially for her advocacy re libraries and literacy.)

For those who haven’t seen, here’s a link that shows two Bush’s self-portraits painted in the bath – one of just feet and legs, the other in a shower apparently.

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35 Comments on “Hey George!”

  1. Mary Says:

    Well, I think I truly would pass on seeing George in the bath! Better you than me. LOL.

  2. Jamie Dedes Says:

    No sorry about it. You’ve spoken for all. Thank you.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Well, I sort of hated to imply that people shut their eyes the first time as many people, at least in New York where there was a big movement called “Not In Our Name” certainly protested against the invasion. And 23 Senators, including Robert Byrd who made a stirring speech, voted against the resolution to invade. But I didn’t want to sound so sanctimonious!

      Byrd may have gotten a lot of pork to West Virginia (which was probably part of his job in a way, especially given that it was such a poor state) but that was a very fine moment. k.

      • Jamie Dedes Says:

        But this will keep happening if we don’t keep reminding. Appreciated it.

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Yes. Here’s Byrd’s speech. It is really quite amazing–if you can remember back to the time and how the media played the whole issue.

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Jamie– samsara such a beautiful word, though I always think about it as rather an ominous concept so you’re poem kind of a revelation. I am someone who says “I’m sorry,” a lot and once had a yoga teacher tell me I should say “I’m samahdi.” Couldn’t quite get the hang of it. Ha. k.

      • Jamie Dedes Says:

        I do remember Byrd, but just watched again. Thanks!
        As far as the pork: we’re all a mixed bag, eh?

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Yes. And West Virginia certainly a poor enough state. The scholarships were also great. Yes he out his name on them but they were good scholarships. K.

  3. kkkkaty1 Says:

    Ha…this is so timely..surely you’ve see Rachel Maddow’s latest special ..I predicted 10 years ago someone would one day tell the real story..an lo and behold..and so have you …but I didn’t expect to find this little “gem” ….nice going, K.

  4. hedgewitch Says:

    This is a really great non-rant, k–it tells the sad story in an understated way, so that the injustice and the lies are all the more searing to the memory. I was one of the ones who bought it all hook line and sinker, surrounded at the time by a lot of ultra-conservative friends and associates who have since had to be jettisoned–and when the truth came out, it was truly an epiphany–a moment where I realized I had sold myself out just as George sold us all out for his and Cheney’s war-means-money wet dream. I don’t think you can ever fix that mirror so he sees what he really is, though. Excellent stuff.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much. Well, of course, we in New York were almost automatically opposed. There was a certain amount of self-interest in that we’d just gone through 9/11 and then all the anthrax stuff afterwards, and honestly, the City felt it would be on the front lines of any conflict in the sense that if it inspired attack, it would come here.

      But, more than that, I think, here people followed all the stuff about 9/11 so closely that they could not understand the connection that the Bush people both encouraged, and denied.

      It’s all so sad. Who knows how it will play out, but I cannot imagine being a parent of a soldier lost there, or being an Iraqi either– I mean I cannot imagine the pain of it. Hope I do not have to ever experience that. Or you or anyone else either. k.

      • hedgewitch Says:

        Lord, Karin–I hadn’t seen those utterly bizarre paintings–very childlike and not in a good way–I can see where the poem is coming from even better now. And yes, those who have lost a son or daughter, spouse or sibling–it’s beyond comprehension I think for the rest of us.

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Yes, they are so weird. I probably should make the poem sharper – I can think of plenty of ways – but I hate to alienate people and hate to be strident.

        Both paintings are completely bizarre – the feet– the legs–the back. So strange. On the one hand, I guess, well, someone should be free to make the paintings they want! But they are pretty strange. k.

        On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 10:38 PM, ManicDDaily

  5. very brave and very true k.

    “I think Claudia was pushing for imaginary conversations with the dead, but there are more than enough dead to go with this conversation.” – amen.

  6. brian miller Says:

    oh my goodness….lol…this is awesome…ha…first the setting. that you would confront george in the bath…but if honest it may be the only place you could catch him…lol…and i wonder too what he thinks when he looks back on his time in office and the things that he put in place…and the war he started…and the lives that it has affected as well…ugh…and reading your comments as well as other…ugh…really a great write k

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much, Brian. I’m going to add a link to bath paintings, because it’s possible people have not seen them. They are kind of odd actually. One mainly focuses on his legs and feet and the other, he is catching his face in the mirror. k.

  7. Ah to confront a guy in bath.. that’s great… Love this take… he’s sure worth it.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      I used the bath because two of the paintings that President Bush has recently painted were self-portraits in the bath. (He did not authorize the public release of the images but they were sent to a friend or his sister – I can’t remember – and got out online.) That’s really the reason for this particular setting! But thanks! k.

  8. claudia Says:

    i really wonder why he portrayed himself in the bathroom…maybe that was the only place and time when he had time to think and breathe… i def. enjoyed your conversation with him and love that you set it up in the bathroom as well… cool take k.

  9. No need to apologize for anything, except maybe George’s nudity…Pow!

  10. Can you hear that thud? That’s the sound of my forehead hitting the floor. I bow to you. Many thanks. I think you’ve expressed in a few lines what many of us have expressed with words that cannot be repeated on this forum out of respect for your readers. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  11. And that’s only asking him about American lives. How about the Iraqi lives? All the dead, exiled, traumatized? God forgive him.

  12. Ruth Says:

    yes, very well done – & i’ve always wanted to ask him a few questions myself… & maybe give him a few answers too 😉

  13. Kelvin S.M. Says:

    …sometimes, it is good to use poetry in this kind of commentary… for poetry is meant to inform / lay the truth bare in a more artistic way…and you just did… when you can affect / influence many you are effective with your role as a poet… very wise you Karin… smiles…

  14. Outstanding! I loved it!

  15. janehewey Says:

    I enjoy this perspective. : ) you’ve stripped it down nicely, karin. and by nicely, I mean both politely and cleanly. has it really been ten years? Really makes me wonder what I have to show for the last decade.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      I know what you mean. But at least you did make this kind of crazy decision. I used to think about that over the last ten years when I have found myself ruefully acknowledging various mistakes. k.

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